Outcomes of term vaginal breech delivery.

Research paper by Nora M NM Doyle, John W JW Riggs, Susan M SM Ramin, Manuel A MA Sosa, Larry C LC Gilstrap

Indexed on: 25 Aug '05Published on: 25 Aug '05Published in: American journal of perinatology


In December 2001, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists revised their recommendations for breech delivery. These recommendations acknowledge that although a planned vaginal delivery may no longer be appropriate, there are instances in which vaginal breech delivery is inevitable. Moreover, there continues to be patients who for any number of reasons will choose vaginal over cesarean delivery when faced with a fetus in the breech presentation. We sought to review maternal and fetal outcomes in such circumstances when vaginal breech delivery occurs, and compare these outcomes to elective cesarean deliveries for breech presentation. We performed a retrospective review of all singleton breech deliveries at our county hospital from January 2002 through June 2003. We reviewed maternal age, ethnicity, gestational age, gravity, parity, birthweight, mode of delivery, Apgar scores, umbilical arterial blood gases, and maternal and infant complications of both cesarean deliveries and vaginal breech deliveries. Univariate and logistic regression statistical analyses were performed with NCSS software. We had a total of 150 term breech deliveries with gestational ages between 37 and 42 weeks. Of these, 41 were vaginal breech and 109 were cesarean deliveries. Greater than 95% of patients are of Hispanic origin. There were no statistically significant differences in maternal age, ethnicity, gravity, or gestational age. Mean birthweight was significantly lower and parity was significantly higher in the vaginal delivery group. There was also a higher proportion of patients who underwent labor induction/augmentation in the vaginal group. We found no differences in the outcomes of 5-minute Apgar scores, umbilical arterial blood gas values, neonatal intensive care unit admissions, deaths or maternal/fetal complications reported between the two groups. Mean umbilical arterial blood gas values were greater than 7.18 in both groups. Vaginal breech delivery cannot always be avoided. Moreover, at our county hospital several patients continue to choose vaginal breech delivery. Our data would suggest that vaginal breech delivery remains a viable option in selected patients.